Divorced, co-parenting, separated or single parent- once the line is crossed to single mom status, life never stays the same. Multiple jobs, carpooling, endless cleaning, balancing the budget, and parenting decisions often lead to exhaustion and frustration. Despite all that, single moms beat all the odds and rise to every challenge that life throws at them.
Often single moms have a good support system that helps them cope with the stressful life. However, there are often insensitive remarks or unsolicited advice that makes them want to scream and smack the person, no matter how well-meaning their intentions were.
We have come up with a list of things you should never say to a single mom. To the single moms reading this, we hope this article brings a smile to your face!
- 1. “Your child is too loud [or unruly]”
- 2. “Let’s go for a movie tonight.”
- 3. “You are a single mom… how can you afford all this?”
- 4. “Who is the father? Do you guys still talk? Does he take an active part in the child’s upbringing?”
- 5. “Where is your child?”
- 6. “Your [house or your car] is a mess. You should clean it!”
- 7. "Your child should have a male role model."
- 8. "You should have thought of that before you had kids/ got divorced."
1. “Your child is too loud [or unruly]”
Are you really going to criticize her parenting based on a limited time frame of being around her child?
With everything that she has been juggling in her life since she became a single mom, it’s a wonder she can get through each day with a smile.
Instead of judgment... how about offering her some support?
2. “Let’s go for a movie tonight.”
Learn about her priorities. It’s not movies! (Hint- it’s the little human/s in her life!)
You can’t expect a single mom to leave her kid alone and go for a movie at night at the last minute. Of course, she can get a babysitter for her child. If she gets a babysitter for her child, then she is probably just going to use that time for running errands or other things that she needs to get done.
3. “You are a single mom… how can you afford all this?”
Most single moms work full-time and also care for their kids. They don’t simply just depend on child support which, by the way, they may or may not be receiving from their children's fathers. Besides, how they decide to spend the money they are left with after taking care of the need of their child is none of your business. They want a nice townhouse, a swanky SUV! Sure, why not! You cannot scrutinize their lifestyle based on their single mom status. Asking her about her finances is crossing the line, and absolutely rude.
4. “Who is the father? Do you guys still talk? Does he take an active part in the child’s upbringing?”
This is like the worst thing you could ask a single mom. How does it matter whether her ex is still in the picture or not! Newsflash: It’s none of your business. As long as the child is healthy and happy, how does it matter whether his dad is around or not? Most single moms would simply smile and try to get off without having to answer the question in depth. Take the hint, step back. Don’t remind her that most of the problems wouldn’t exist in her life if the partner hadn’t been gone.
5. “Where is your child?”
If you ever come across a single mom strolling alone without her child or having a night out with her girlfriends, don’t barge up to her and demand where her child is! She deserves to have some time to just herself. Maybe she left her child with the babysitter, or maybe her partner or family is looking after the child while she gets to live a bit. Everyone needs de-stressing. Why would you walk up to her in her precious peaceful time and try to make her guilty about leaving her child alone?
6. “Your [house or your car] is a mess. You should clean it!”
First and foremost, there is a child in the house. It’s bound to be messy. In case, it slipped your attention; she is a single mom! So that means she is doing it all on her own. She works, cleans and does EVERYTHING entailing about the act of bringing up a healthy and happy child. So, when do you think she is going to find time for cleaning up every day? She will clean it when she can.
7. "Your child should have a male role model."
A child can have a male role model in his grandfather, uncle or male teacher. It doesn’t necessarily have to be his father. One of the weirdest things single moms hear is, "aren’t you afraid your son will turn gay" or "your child will have some emotional or developmental issues without the presence of a man in their life."
8. "You should have thought of that before you had kids/ got divorced."
Most of the times, if a single mother is sharing her problems with you, then it’s because she wants someone to talk to. She is in all probability capable of handling it, but at times it gets overwhelming. You might try supporting her instead of coming up with such statements. This is not the time to be self-righteous.